“Way to go, Pornie Boy!” Carlton Mallace exclaimed when he threw open my closed office door like he always did as if a closed door offended him. “You drew first blood on the smokin’ hot Sheila Youngblood!”
“Please don’t call me ‘Pornie Boy,’ Carlton.” I said. “Can’t you hear the secretaries snicker every time you do it?”
“Of course I do. Why d’ya think I do it!”
“Well, please don’t anymore. What I said in my sermon at our church was personal and sincere and it doesn’t need to be cheapened with your snarky quips.”
“Hey man, lighten up. Don’t be such an overly sensitive little girl. It’s NOT snark. It’s LOVE, man. I only belittle and torment the ones I love!”
“Yeah well, I do have a name, Carlton, you know, and I don’t make fun of your name or give you nicknames that I’ve heard others use for you?”
“Fire away, MAC. I’ve heard all the names people have called me all my life, and I laugh at the funny ones. Do you think being the only “fag” in the United States Marines was a picnic. I should’ve gone in the Navy. There’s plenty of “queers” there, or, God help me, the Air Force! But I wanted to show my old man that I could be a bad ass too. But, seriously, man, what did ya think was gonna happened when you preach a sermon about pornography in a small town like this and admit that you’ve used it yourself? Holy SHIT, Man! Did you think that wasn’t gonna walk out your little church and get out all around this town AND inside this court house too. Jesus H. Christ, Mac, YOU are a piece of work, and that’s for damned sure. Why in the world did you do that?”
“Because I felt that God wanted me to do it, and because I know many men, many families torn up by stuff like pornography. You know how many men use it?”
“I know that the priest who seduced me with it had a stash.” Carlton answered, now more somberly.
“And it’s impossible to eliminate from the world too,” I continued. “The only thing that has ever helped me avoid it is to focus on the person of Jesus Christ who I call ‘my possibly imaginary Friend.’ I call Jesus that because I know that plenty of people think that He is just a figment of my imagination, but I capitalize the word ‘Friend’ to show that I believe He is real. I’ve found that Jesus Christ is BETTER than anything! He’s BETTER than porn. He’s BETTER than drugs. He’s BETTER than sex. He’s BETTER than food. He’s BETTER than booze or, even, water. He’s BETTER than the air that I need to breathe to stay alive! The trick is to remember that truth and then live it.”
“Believe it or not, Mac,” Carlton said, “I know what you mean, and I believe that too, and I believe in Jesus Christ myself. And I know what the Bible says about homosexuality, which, by the way, I don’t know if I always felt gay or if that priest who raped me when I was ten years old kind of infected me with it. And I know what the Bible says about all the boozing that I do, or my foul mouth, but I still get shit-faced drunk every day after work.”
“Why do you do that, Boss?”
“To forget . . . I drink to forget, man . . . ’cause I got a lot to forget. How about you, Mac, you got any other dirty little secrets you’d like to share?”
“Not right now . . . and the one that’s all over town is not much of a secret anymore, is it?”
Mallace burst out laughing! “No, I guess it isn’t, Pornie, um, Mac. NO it isn’t! THAT did take some balls, though. I will say that!”
“Not really,” I responded. “‘Just a broken and contrite heart,’ like King David once wrote.”
“King David! Now there’s a manly fag for ya, huh! He hung out with nothing but other manly men for decades in his youth, couldn’t satisfy the king’s daughter, married some old broad, I could go on and on if you want me to.”
“Don’t bother . . . bi-sexual maybe . . . but any human being can have a ‘broken and contrite heart’ over sin, can’t they?”
“Damn straight . . . like this stupid shit Duendes. I wonder what he’s thinking about now that he’s fucked up his own life so much no matter what happens in this re-trial. Which reminds me! You know how much you rattled “Ms. Tight Ass In A Mini Skirt With High Heels” Sheila Youngblood? She just noticed an insanity defense for just in case you do win the lottery and get Duendes’ confession back from the United States Supreme Court!”
“No shit! She’s putting Duendes’ mental state in issue? That means we get to run our shrink at him! NOW we’ll finally see what makes that guy tick!”
“YUP! I already called the buxom and beautiful Annie Johnson, the hottest psychiatrist in our county for you. What an old cuckold her limp dick husband is, huh! Wouldn’t you like to get under her hood and see what makes that broad tick? ‘Johnson versus Youngblood . . . a real BATTLE OF THE BIMBOS!’”
When he left my office, all I could do was shake my head and laugh a little bit.
“Where’d we ever get THAT GUY?” I thought.
“But I’m sure GLAD we did,” I thought again.
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